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21 killed in clashes between SSPDF, NAS in S. Sudan’s Equatoria

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Personnel of the South Sudan People's Defence Forces take part in a drill at their barracks in Rejaf, about 15km south of Juba, South Sudan, on April 26, 2019. (AFP photo)
March 19, 2021 (JUBA) - 24 soldiers and rebel fighter were killed during recent clashes between government and rebels forces in Central and Western Equatoria states of South Sudan.

According to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune by the National Salvation Front (NAS) Spokesman on Friday, the fighting broke out near Mugwo Payam of Central Equatoria State and Movolo area of Western Equatoria State on 18 and 14 March respectively.

Samuel Manase said on 18 March NAS fighters repelled an attack by South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) on their position at the Wondukari area of Mugwo Payam.

"The NAS combatants of Yei River Command countered the attackers in a fierce fighting resulting to the killing of four (4) SSPDF soldiers, three (3) others badly injured and one (1) NAS combatant sustained an injury," Manase said.

He further spoke about a similar attack on a NAS mobile base in the Movolo area of Western Equatoria State on 14-15 March.

The official spokesman of the holdout group said NAS combatants killed 17 SSPDF soldiers and seized their guns and ammunition.

"Meanwhile three (3) NAS combatants died in action and eight (8) others suffered injuries," he added.

In a report to the Security Council last February, the UN Secretary-General said the security context was dominated by local violence and tribal attacks.

However, this month NAS reported several clashes with the SSPDF despite the commitment of the two parties to a cessation of hostilities agreement and their engagement to a peace process brokered by the Sant’Egidio religious community.

Namase reiterated their commitment to the truce and Rome Declaration of 20 January 2020. He further accused the government of continuing to use violence as a means to resolve the political conflict in South Sudan.

(ST)

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